Chapter 5.02
BUSINESS LICENSES

Sections:

5.02.010    Short title.

5.02.020    Scope.

5.02.030    Definitions.

5.02.040    Requirement generally.

5.02.045    Exemptions.

5.02.050    Regulations applicability to special sales.

5.02.060    Responsibility for regulation compliance by nonresidents.

5.02.070    Separate licenses for branch establishments.

5.02.080    Joint licenses.

5.02.090    License officer duties.

5.02.100    Application – Required – Form.

5.02.110    Application – Fee accompanying.

5.02.120    Issuance delay – Fee payment receipt.

5.02.130    Duplicate license – Fee.

5.02.135    Application – Denial or revocation.

5.02.138    Conduct of business licensees.

5.02.140    Denial of license procedure.

5.02.150    Business license – Fees.

5.02.155    Posting.

5.02.160    Renewal.

5.02.170    Fee – Nonpayment action – Monetary penalty.

5.02.180    Revocation of license.

5.02.185    Appeal to the hearing examiner.

5.02.190    Fee – Collection by civil action.

5.02.200    Criminal penalty.

5.02.010 Short title.

The ordinance codified in this chapter shall be known and may be cited as the “general licensing ordinance of the city.” (Ord. 1610 § 1, 2005; Ord. 675 § 1, 1978).

5.02.020 Scope.

It is not intended by this chapter to repeal, abrogate, annul or in any way impair or interfere with the existing provisions of other laws or ordinances except those specifically repealed by the ordinance codified in this chapter. Where this chapter imposes a greater restriction upon persons, premises or personal property than is imposed or required by such existing provisions of law, ordinance, contract or deed, the provisions of this chapter shall control. (Ord. 1610 § 1, 2005; Ord. 675 § 2, 1978).

5.02.030 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meaning given in this section:

A. “Business” includes all kinds of vocations, occupations, professions, enterprises, establishments, and all other kinds of activities and matters intended to generate revenue or conducted for private profit or benefit, either directly or indirectly, within the city’s jurisdiction, except when said vocation, occupation or otherwise is an undertaking primarily involving the use of land in the city for agricultural purposes. Transient merchants, peddlers and street peddlers are businesses for the purposes of this chapter.

B. “City license officer” is the city clerk.

C. “License” or “licensee,” as used generally in this chapter, includes respectively the words “permit” or “permittee,” or the holder for any use or period of time of any similar privilege, wherever relevant to any provision of this chapter or other law or ordinance.

D. “Peddler” means any person who sells, attempts to sell, or solicits the sale or purchase of goods, wares or merchandise, or services, by going from place to place or from house to house, whether he or she carries with him or her for delivery such property or whether he or she merely solicits orders for future delivery or performance.

E. “Person” includes individual natural persons, partnerships, joint ventures, societies, associations, clubs, trustees, trusts or corporations, or any officer, agent, employee, factor or any kind of personal representative thereof, in any capacity, acting either for himself, or any other person, under either personal appointment or pursuant to law.

F. “Premises” includes all lands, structures and places, and also any personal property which is either affixed to or is otherwise used in connection with any such business conducted on such premises.

G. “Street peddler” means any person who sells, attempts to sell, or solicits the sale or purchase of goods, wares or merchandise, or services from a location on any street, alley, sidewalk or other public thoroughfare, whether he or she carries with him or her for such delivery such property or whether he or she merely solicits for future delivery or performance.

H. “Transient merchant” means any person, firm or corporation who engages in, does or transacts any temporary business at wholesale or retail for the sale of goods, wares or merchandise, or services, and who for such purpose shall use or occupy any building, vehicle, booth or other structure, either temporary or permanent, for the exhibition and/or sale of such property or services. (Ord. 1610 § 1, 2005; Ord. 1338 § 1, 1997; Ord. 675 § 3, 1978).

5.02.040 Requirement generally.

A. Every business shall obtain from the city license officer a general business license for the current calendar year or unexpired portion thereof before commencing business. The license shall be nontransferable.

B. It shall be unlawful for any person to conduct any business, either directly or indirectly, for which a license is required by any law or ordinance of the city, without first procuring and keeping said license in effect at all times as required by this chapter or other law or ordinance of this city. (Ord. 1610 § 1, 2005; Ord. 1338 § 2, 1997; Ord. 675 § 4, 1978).

5.02.045 Exemptions.

The license requirements of this chapter shall not apply to religious, charitable or benevolent societies or organizations. Nonprofit and not for profit agencies/businesses must have a current business license with the city. This business license will be provided at no charge to the nonprofit and not for profit business/agency. (Ord. 1832 § 1, 2012; Ord. 1791, 2011; Ord. 1610 § 1, 2005; Ord. 1354 § 1, 1997; Ord. 1338 § 3, 1997).

5.02.050 Regulations applicability to special sales.

This chapter shall apply to all business in the nature of special sales for which a license is required by any law or ordinance of the city, and it is unlawful for any person, either directly or indirectly, to conduct any such sale except in conformity with the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 1610 § 1, 2005; Ord. 675 § 5, 1978).

5.02.060 Responsibility for regulation compliance by nonresidents.

The agents or other representatives of nonresidents who are doing business in the city shall be personally responsible for the compliance of their principals and the businesses they represent with this chapter. (Ord. 1610 § 1, 2005; Ord. 675 § 6, 1978).

5.02.070 Separate licenses for branch establishments.

A. A license shall be obtained in the manner prescribed in this chapter for each branch establishment or location, as if each such branch establishment or location were a separate business; provided, that warehouses and distributing plants used in connection with and incidental to a business licensed under the provisions of this chapter shall not be deemed to be separate places of business or branch establishments.

B. Each rental real property shall be deemed a branch establishment or separate place of business for the purpose of this chapter, when there is a representative of the owner or the owner’s agent on the premises who is authorized to transact business for such owner or owner’s agent or there is a regular employee of the owner or of the owner’s agent working on the premises. (Ord. 1610 § 1, 2005; Ord. 675 § 7, 1978).

5.02.080 Joint licenses.

Each business that has a unified business identifier (UBI) number with the state of Washington must obtain a city business license. A person conducting multiple businesses at the same location shall be required to obtain a city business license for each business that has a unique UBI number. (Ord. 1832 § 2, 2012; Ord. 1610 § 1, 2005; Ord. 675 § 8, 1978).

5.02.090 License officer duties.

The city license officer shall collect all license fees and shall issue licenses in the name of the city to all persons qualified under the provisions of this chapter and shall:

A. Adopt all forms and prescribe the information to be given therein as to character and other relevant matters for all necessary papers;

B. Submit all applications and licenses issued, in a proper case, to interested city officials for their endorsements thereon as to compliance by the applicant with all city regulations which they have the duty of enforcing;

C. Notify any applicant of the acceptance or rejection of his application and shall, upon his refusal of any license or permit, at the applicant’s request, state in writing the reasons therefor and deliver them to the applicant. (Ord. 1758 § 1, 2010; Ord. 1610 § 1, 2005; Ord. 675 § 9, 1978).

5.02.100 Application – Required – Form.

Every person required to procure a license under the provisions of any ordinance or law of the city shall submit an application for such license to the city license officer. The application shall be a written statement upon a form provided by the city license officer and which the city license officer finds to be reasonably necessary to the fair administration of this chapter. (Ord. 1610 § 1, 2005; Ord. 675 § 10, 1978).

5.02.110 Application – Fee accompanying.

The application for license shall be accompanied by the full amount of the fee chargeable for such license. (Ord. 1610 § 1, 2005; Ord. 675 § 11, 1978).

5.02.120 Issuance delay – Fee payment receipt.

Whenever a license cannot be issued at the time the application for the same is made, the city license officer shall issue a receipt to the applicant for the money paid in advance, subject to the following conditions: such receipt shall not be construed as the approval of the city license officer for the issuance of a license, nor shall it entitle or authorize the applicant to open or maintain any business contrary to the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 1610 § 1, 2005; Ord. 675 § 12, 1978).

5.02.130 Duplicate license – Fee.

A duplicate license or a special permit shall be issued by the license officer to replace any license previously issued which has been lost, stolen, defaced or destroyed, without any willful conduct on the part of the licensee, upon the filing by the licensee of an affidavit attesting to such fact. There shall be a fee for such license as established by city resolution. (Ord. 1610 § 1, 2005; Ord. 1375 § 10, 1998; Ord. 675 § 13, 1978).

5.02.135 Application – Denial or revocation.

The city license office may deny an application for a business license or revoke a business license previously issued upon the following grounds:

A. In addition to the other penalties provided by law, any business license issued under the provisions of this chapter (or its predecessor) may be denied, revoked or suspended at any time, where the same was:

1. Procured by fraud, false representation or material omission of fact; or

2. For the violation of, or failure to comply with, any of the provisions of this chapter by the person holding such license, or any of his/her servants, agents or employees, while acting within the scope of their employment; or

3. If the licensee violates any applicable city, state or federal law; or

4. If the purpose for which the license was issued is being abused to the detriment of the public; or

5. If such license is being used for a purpose different from that for which it was issued.

6. No license shall be revoked or suspended except in accordance with the procedures provided in this chapter.

7. Failure to disclose a conviction of a felony or misdemeanor for a crime involving the intent to defraud when engaged in a business of entering private homes or transporting the public.

B. A business license may be suspended by the city without notice for any of the following causes:

1. The licensee or any of its officers, directors, agents or employees while acting within the scope of their duties has violated or failed to keep the building, structure or equipment of the licensed premises in compliance with applicable health, building, fire, or safety laws, ordinances, or regulations;

2. Has failed to comply with the standards of conduct specified in this chapter. (Ord. 1610 § 1, 2005; Ord. 1338 § 4, 1997).

5.02.138 Conduct of business licensees.

A. No license shall be issued, nor shall any license be renewed, pursuant to the provisions of this chapter to:

1. An applicant who is not 18 years of age at the time of application;

2. An applicant who has had a similar license revoked or suspended pursuant to PMC 5.02.135;

3. An applicant who shall not first comply with the general laws of the state; or

4. An applicant who seeks such a license in order to practice some illegal act or some act injurious to the public health or safety.

5. The application is consistent with other applicable city laws and ordinances for a new or changed use. This section shall not require that existing legally nonconforming standards be corrected, except as required by other applicable regulations for a change of use.

B. Any person, including city officials, may submit complaints or objections to the director regarding the application for any license, and the director is additionally authorized to request and receive information from all city departments as will tend to aid him in determining whether to issue or deny the license. Such information shall be confidential unless a hearing is requested on the application, or if the applicant shall request the information in writing. All information, complaints or objections shall be investigated and considered by the director prior to issuing, denying or renewing any license.

C. Standards of Conduct. Every licensee under this chapter shall:

1. Permit reasonable inspections of the business premises by governmental authorities for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this chapter;

2. Comply with all federal, state and city statutes, laws, ordinances and regulations relating to the business premises and the conduct of the business thereon;

3. Refrain from unfair or deceptive acts or practices, or consumer fraud, in the conduct of the business and avoid maintaining a public nuisance on the business premises;

4. Refrain from operating the business after expiration of a license or during the period that the license may be suspended or revoked. (Ord. 1610 § 1, 2005).

5.02.140 Denial of license procedure.

A. Upon denial of a license, the director shall, by certified mail, give written notice of such action to the applicant, which notice shall include a written report summarizing the complaints, objections and information received and considered by the director and further stating the basis for such action.

B. Any applicant whose application is denied may, within 10 calendar days after notice of denial as provided in this section, request a hearing in writing on such denial before the hearing examiner.

C. Any license for which renewal has been denied shall remain in effect pending the determination made as a result of such hearing examiner hearing.

D. If no request for hearing is received within the time specified, the director’s decision shall be final.

E. The license officer shall, upon disapproving any application submitted under the provisions of this chapter, refund all fees paid in advance to the applicant, provided the applicant is not otherwise indebted to the city.

When the issuance of a license is denied and any action instituted by the applicant to compel its issuance, such applicant shall not engage in business for which the license was refused unless a license is issued to him pursuant to a judgement ordering the same. (Ord. 1610 § 1, 2005; Ord. 675 § 14, 1978).

5.02.150 Business license – Fees.

A. Businesses Located Inside City Limits. Every business within the corporate limits of the city, having a place of business or headquarters located within the corporate limits of the city, shall pay a fee as established by city resolution for the privilege of engaging in business in the city. The annual license fees provided for in this section shall be paid in full, irrespective of the date the license is issued.

B. Short-Term Employment within City. Businesses without a place of business or headquarters located within the corporate limits of this city, whose employees are normally situated outside the city, but who work within the city for one day or more, such as contractor’s employees, shall pay an annual license fee as established by city resolution.

C. Transient merchants, peddlers and street peddlers shall pay an annual license fee as established by city resolution.

D. The license fee imposed in this chapter shall be in addition to all other fees and taxes imposed by the city.

E. The license fee imposed by this chapter shall be waived for businesses participating in city-sponsored community events. This fee waiver shall only apply to business conducted as a part of the city-sponsored community event and shall not constitute a waiver for any other purpose. (Ord. 1610 § 1, 2005; Ord. 1456 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1375 § 11, 1998; Ord. 1338 § 5, 1997; Ord. 1279 § 1, 1995; Ord. 675 § 15, 1978).

5.02.155 Posting.

A. Every business shall keep and post the license issued it pursuant to this chapter on the premises of the business.

B. Every transient merchant, peddler or street peddler shall have in his or her possession at all times, while conducting business as such, the license issued pursuant to this chapter. No soliciting or peddling is permitted between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. (Ord. 1610 § 1, 2005; Ord. 1338 § 6, 1997).

5.02.160 Renewal.

All licenses shall be renewable, and the annual license fee shall be due on January 1st of each year. The city license officer is authorized, but not required, to mail to businesses forms for application for license renewal. Failure of the business to receive any such form shall not excuse the business from applying for and securing the license and paying of the license fee due. (Ord. 1610 § 1, 2005; Ord. 1279 § 2, 1995; Ord. 675 § 16, 1978).

5.02.170 Fee – Nonpayment action – Monetary penalty.

Failure to obtain a license, or failure to pay the license fee within 30 days after the day on which it is due, shall render the business subject to a penalty of 50 percent of the amount of the license fee for the first month of delinquency and an additional penalty of 10 percent for each succeeding month of delinquency; provided, that the total penalty shall not exceed the amount of the license fee. (Ord. 1610 § 1, 2005; Ord. 1279 § 3, 1995; Ord. 675 § 17, 1978).

5.02.180 Revocation of license.

A. Actions to suspend or revoke any license shall be commenced by filing with the city clerk a written complaint setting forth in specific terms the basis therefor. Upon receipt of such complaint, the city clerk shall review the allegations set forth in the complaint and perform a preliminary review of the facts as deemed appropriate under the circumstances to determine if the allegations in the complaint may constitute cause for suspension or revocation. If the city clerk determines that the allegations in the complaint may constitute cause for suspension or revocation, a copy of such complaint shall be mailed by certified mail to the licensee at his/her last address as shown by the license records of the city clerk, and shall be accompanied by a notice that the license may be suspended or revoked.

B. The licensee shall, within 10 working days after receiving any such complaint, mail by certified mail to the complainant and file with the city clerk his/her written answer which shall admit or deny the allegations of the complaint. The licensee may provide other information with the answer licensee deems relevant for consideration by the city clerk.

C. Upon failure of any licensee to file an answer as provided in this section, or in the event that no hearing is requested, as set forth below, the city clerk shall investigate the allegations of the complaint and, if cause exists therefor, may recommend suspension or revocation of the license, or otherwise he/she shall dismiss the complaint; provided, that if the city clerk finds upon a sufficient showing that the conduct complained of has been corrected and is unlikely to be repeated, he/she may dismiss such complaint; and provided further, that the complaint shall be dismissed where the conduct complained of has been corrected.

D. Notice of the action of the city clerk summarizing his/her findings and conclusions and recommended action to be taken on the permit, if any, shall be mailed by certified mail to the complainant and to the licensee. (Ord. 1610 § 1, 2005; Ord. 1279 § 4, 1005; Ord. 675 § 18, 1978).

5.02.185 Appeal to the hearing examiner.

A. In all cases in which a complaint is dismissed, other than upon a written agreement between the complainant and the licensee, or in which the license is denied, suspended or revoked, or related action as provided for herein is taken by the city, the aggrieved party may within 10 working days from the date of the mailing of the notice of the city’s action, request a hearing before the hearing examiner. The request for a hearing must be in writing, filed with the city clerk and accompanied by a check in the amount identified within the most recently adopted city fee schedule. The city clerk shall transmit the request for a hearing to the hearing examiner. If no request for a hearing is received within the time specified, the city’s action shall be final.

B. The hearing before the hearing examiner shall be held according to the applicable procedures set forth in Chapter 2.06 PMC. When hearing an appeal of a denial, suspension or revocation of a business license, the hearing examiner shall be guided by the standards set forth in PMC 5.02.138. The decision of the city clerk shall be given substantial weight by the hearing examiner. The hearing examiner shall give at least 10 days’ written notice of the hearing to the appellant. No public notice shall be required. The hearing examiner shall issue a decision within 14 days following the closure of the record. The hearing examiner’s decision on such business license shall represent the final action by the city, unless an appeal is filed in the King County superior court within 14 calendar days from the date the final decision of the hearing examiner is rendered requesting a review of such decision.

C. When a hearing before the hearing examiner has been requested by a licensee in connection with the suspension or revocation of a license, the license shall remain in effect pending the determination made as a result of such hearing; provided, that in cases involving a substantial threat to the public health, safety or welfare, the license may be summarily suspended and in such case the date for the hearing before the hearing examiner shall be set within five days following the filing of the request for a hearing. (Ord. 1758 § 2, 2010; Ord. 1613 § 1, 2005; Ord. 1610 § 1, 2005).

5.02.190 Fee – Collection by civil action.

Any license fee due and unpaid and delinquent under this chapter, and all penalties thereon, may be collected by civil action, which remedy shall be in addition to any and all other existing remedies and penalties. (Ord. 1610 § 1, 2005; Ord. 675 § 19, 1978).

5.02.200 Criminal penalty.

Any business enterprise violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter or any lawful rule or regulation adopted by the council pursuant to this chapter, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $500.00 or by imprisonment in jail for a term not exceeding 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Any business enterprise which engages in any business required to be licensed hereunder without having a business license shall be guilty of a separate violation of this chapter for each day during which the business is so engaged. (Ord. 1610 § 1, 2005; Ord. 1279 § 5, 1995; Ord. 1167 § 3, 1992; Ord. 675 § 20, 1978).